However the brigade seemed settled and content when Frank took the chair for the annual dinner in November 1885 where the dinner reflected great credit on the cuisine of the Commercial Hotel. Evidently the members of the Local Board were satisfied with their brigade too as the words of Mr Raynes, who raised a toast to the brigade and their captain, was lavished with praise; they are certainly a smart lot of fellows and it had given me great pleasure to see them put in such a quick appearance on the occasion of the Sandford fire. Captain Rennick responded with humility; No credit is due to myself as there is not a man in the brigade but was willing and anxious to do whatever is asked of him.
A suggestion that Frank hadn't been in the brigade for very long before this event was stated by the man himself in response to further accolades bestowed on him by his deputy Mr Jenkins; any compliment paid to me ought to be reversed because I am indebted, as one who had entered in to the task as a green hand, for anything I know to Messrs. Jenkins and Moses.
Given that Frank Rennick was the brigade's captain it seems peculiar that Mr Moses was entitled its superintendent. In every other brigade across the Island the title of captain was used to give rank to the person who superintended the brigade; the use of the rank becoming the norm following the appointment of army captain Eyre Massey Shaw as head of the London Fire Engine Establishment in the 1860's. Ventnor had adopted a unique arrangement whereby the captain was in charge of the firemen during drills and at fires, yet the Local Board had installed a superintendent as a kind of staff officer who reported direct to the Board. This arrangement was to cause Frank considerable problems in the future.
Less than a year later Jenkins, a former Royal Navy sailor during the days of wooden warships, resigned from the brigade. Ambiguity was caused by misunderstandings between the captain and the superintendent that led to Jenkins making a belated claim for unpaid dues in December 1886. Frank was called to account by the Board when it seems that Moses had stirred Jenkins into action as the captain insisted he'd been paid all he was owed. Earlier in the same year Frank had already been subjected to the scorn of the Board when he claimed that just five shillings had been invested in the brigade over the course of the previous year. The Town Clerk produced a series of records showing this not to be the case but Rennick's apparent ignorance of these sums suggests further ambiguity in the management of the brigade.
Matters were worsened the same year when Fireman George Bevis lodged a claim with the Board for the cost incurred by he and four other firemen who represented the brigade at the Lord Mayor's Procession in London. Beavis claimed that Frank had agreed to the trip and to reimburse the men's costs but as the Board were unaware and hadn't sanctioned the expense they refused it. Matters heightened when Beavis stated an intention to repeat the trip the following year, in expectation of further expenses causing members of the Board to question Rennick's command over the men. Rennick's response was to indicate that his status was to command only at fires and drills and he was completely unaware that invites to the Lord Mayor's Procession had been received. Evidently the Town Clerk had passed them on to the superintendent Mr Moses.
As the Board flatly rejected Beavis's repeated claim he instead turned his attention on Captain Rennick and had him hauled before court in August 1887 where the former stated; On the way to the engine house I met the captain who said to me 'will you attend the Lord Mayor's show for me? If you will only say you'll go I will pay you'. Captain Rennick's impassioned response and denial was enough for His Honour to throw Beavis's case out. However that didn't stop Beavis having won last stab with a letter to the Board asking for money.
The division created within the Brigade was so great that when a fire occurred at a property owned by a Mr Hambly in New Year 1888, no-one thought to alert the captain which, some claimed, led to a delay in sending the fire-engine as it was locked in the station! Under investigation Rennick refuted the claim, stating that several keys were available, notably one being held by the superintendent. Despite the captain's unsatisfactory status, Mr Cogger of the Board who placed him in that position uttered in the investigatory meeting; He should have entire control over every man, or else get out of it! It is the captain's own fault if the men are not under his control.